They just don’t give out the free samples in teh US. They most definitely do sell King of Shaves in the US- I got a tube of the regular gel at the local Super Target(Frisco, TX), of all places for $5 a couple of months ago.
Great stuff, although I think that for me, it’s a dead heat between KoS, Nivea for Men Unscented, and Burma Shave/brush.
All 3 give a close shave that’s pretty painless, and beat the tar out of Barbasol or Foamy!
Well, personally, I use an electric for my face and a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo for ‘anywhere else’. I pluck on my throat though, 'cause the electric doesn’t get those fine hairs and the razor does bad things to the skin there. Generally I use Gillette Gel, and sometimes a great lidocaine gel called ‘Bikini Zone’ to soothe and prevent razor burn afterwards.
Of course, there’s always waxing… but I don’t think any guy wants to wax his face!
As the holder of a liftime membership in a nearby health club I first shower, remove excess water from my face and apply the club supplied face and body lotion to the beard. Then after about 5 to 7 minutes in the steam room at 115 deg.F. Shave with a tripple blade throwaway with blade at 45 deg. angle to the grain. Voila an excellent shave and the razor will last about three weeks!
Shaving with the grain always leaves me with sandpaper cheeks; the only way to completely finish the job and get smoothness is to do it both ways. Because it’s a bit treacherous, however, I only do so on special occasions.
I’ve tried soap but still prefer my Edge gel (the Mrs. loves the smell, too).
i was always told that hot water also has the effect of allowing the blade to expand slightly, decreasing the tension and not giving the blade the chance to run evenly across the skin.
even given that though and the chance that i’m dulling the blade, i still rinse in hot, because shaving is bad enough without having to run an ice cold blade across my face.
by the way, mug/brush/hot lather. the mug and brush you can pick up anywhere for about 10 bucks and a cake of burma-shave runs $1.50 and will last for months. besides hot lather, you also get the mini-massage when you brush the lather on.
Shaving both ways, with and then against the grain, seems to be necessary only for certain parts of the face, particularly those hard-to-scrape-cleanly areas just below the jawline and on parts of the neck, for me.
Of course, figuring out which way the grain goes takes some experience, too. The advice I’ve heard given to newbie shavers is to ‘shave toward your chin’ and that that technique will take care of most grainy issues and give you a pretty good shave.
And I’ll second the opinion already expressed, that shaving in the shower with hot water and plain old soap gives a very good shave and saves some time as well. I do that 9 times out of 10.
If you want to bypass all the problems associated with the quest for a close smooth shave, and still look presidential, you don’t have to grow a beard and look like Lincoln. I prefer the five o’clock shadow look, smoothly and easily achieve with a Norelco (although any brand will do) beard trimmer at tle closest setting.
You probably will want to do a little blade shaving around the edges so your facial countenance looks respectable and you don’t really look like President Dick, or another bum.
While you’re at it, you can save some money on haircuts and set the shaver at another length and give yourself a Matt Laurer buzzcut.
Has anyone ever used a straight-edge razor? Strop and leather and all that? I was thinking about trying it, but the problem is that I wouldn’t want a cheap razor (that could be dangerous as well as ineffectual), and a good pricey one starts at around $100. Now, I’m not rich, so a $100 test doesn’t seem so hot. Has anyone done this themselves (as in not just letting your barber do it, you actually shaving this way)?
get a good shaving oil and follow the instructions. It will transform your (shaving) life.
And use a cut throat razoe for a close sahve that will last a lot lot longer.
There is a learning curve with the cut throat though.
About depilatories: all the ones I’ve seen say not to use them on your face. Depilatories are far too harsh and toxic for me to want to use them on my face, even if the bottle said I could.
At the already-mentioned risk of my personal shaving technique being off-topic: against the grain, then with the grain, then sideways. Shaving with the grain doesn’t work. I use a three-bladed razor and ‘therapeutic’ shaving gel, and I shave in the shower – otherwise it hurts, and even in the shower I bleed often. As you can probably imagine, almost all my male relatives have beards.
In conditions like these, electric razors are wholly ineffective – they seem to set back the facial hair clock a couple hours, but they don’t make my face even look smooth.
Anyway, in my experience, triple-blade razors are much more effective than double-blade ones. With a double-blade razor, I almost always bleed (even with a new blade); with triple-blades, it’s rare, especially if the blade is sharp.
An SD article from 1983 (which was posted here recently), however, suggests that the world would have been a much more painful and bloody place for me 20 years ago (or that I’d have a beard): http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_183.html
Single blade razors. Any single blade razor I’ve used (like the white-and-orange Bic disposables) has left my face red and bleeding. Does anyone know if the single-blades have just declined greatly in quality now that double-blade is the norm, or were they always that bad?
PLEASE!!! Roches and all of you other red and bleeding shavers out there:
I, too, used to be amongst the suffering masses who believed that dragging sharpened steel blades across one’s face (verily, even against the grain!) was the only path to smoothness, and that bleeding was an acceptable and even necessary consequence of one’s morning ablutions in order to present a shining, rosy cheek to civilized society.
Bleed no more! Try, please try, a wet/dry cordless electric shaver. Even the cheap ones work well (I believe the low line Panasonics are under $40), and even I, member of the tough bearded, tender faced, shaved twice-a-day clan of the cave bear-like beard mongers, now enjoy smooth, irritation-free mornings and stubble-free afternoons.
For best results, use a shaving gel, shave last in your shower, shave in all directions, including against the grain, and smooth on an aftershave gel afterwards
In the UK, there is a comic called “The Beano”, in which one of the main strips is about “Desperate Dan”. Dan lives in Cactus Gulch, eats cow pies (whole, naturally), and shaves with a blowtorch. I guess he lives in the US (well, it does say Cactus Gulch).